J. Dahmen
University of British Columbia - School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture


J. F. Muñoz
Watershed Materials LLC
Napa, CA. USA

 

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ABSTRACT

This paper provides a justification for a masonry building block fabricated from soil materials that could radically improve the environmental profile of one of the most common construction materials on the planet. Typical concrete masonry units depend on the reaction of ordinary Portland cement to provide strength and durability. While effective at meeting structural requirements, a study has shown that production of ordinary Portland cement causes 6-7% of global greenhouse gas emissions [1]. In contrast, the principal component of stabilized earth mix designs is soil, a ubiquitous, innocuous, and almost unlimited resource that offers the potential of sustainable cradle-to-cradle environmental performance over a full life cycle of products. The paper presents research investigating the characteristics of a range engineered soil blends and natural soil sources. The research is applied toward the production of an environmentally sustainable stabilized earth masonry building block capable of meeting current ASTM concrete block performance specifications while reducing embodied energy by as much as 50% due to the reduction of energy-intensive Portland cement binders, dramatically reducing CO2 emissions of this common construction material

Keywords: Sustainable Construction Materials, Concrete Masonry Unit, Green Building, Green Materials, Nanotechnology

 

CITATION INFORMATION

EARTH MASONRY UNIT: SUSTAINABLE CMU ALTERNATIVE
International Journal of GEOMATE
The Geomate International Society. June, 2014.
Volume 6. Issue 12.
Pages 903-909
Print ISSN:2186-2982